Biden names more ambassador nominees, tapping Eric Garcetti for India post

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President Joe Biden named four more nominees for ambassadorships on Friday, including to Monaco, Bangladesh and Chile. And as widely anticipated, the president tapped Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as his pick for the India post.

Garcetti, who co-chaired Biden’s 2020 campaign, reportedly was interested in a high-profile post like Mexico. (Garcetti is half-Mexican.) He was passed over for several other jobs in the administration, including transportation secretary. Garcetti has been the mayor of Los Angeles since 2013, after serving 12 years on the city council.

Garcetti had been a leading actor in climate change initiatives as mayor. He co-founded Climate Mayors that led more than 400 U.S. mayors to adopt the Paris climate agreement. He was also in the U.S. Navy Reserve for 12 years until he retired in 2017 as a lieutenant.

He also has ties to Asia: He was an inaugural Asia 21 Fellow of the Asia Society and has lived and conducted field work on nationalism, ethnicity and human rights in Southeast Asia and Northeast Africa.

Biden also named Denise Campbell Bauer as his nominee for ambassador to Monaco. Bauer served as ambassador to Belgium from 2013 to 2017. She speaks French.

Previously a journalist in Los Angeles, Bauer moved to the nonprofit sector, where she held numerous leadership roles. In 2019, she became the executive director of Women for Biden, a group that helped elect the president. She held a similar role during former President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.

Peter Haas, the president’s nominee to Bangladesh, is a career senior foreign service member who now serves as acting assistant secretary of state and as principal deputy assistant secretary for Economic and Business Affairs for the State Department. Haas has worked in State Department positions at five different bureaus in his career, including in Mumbai, India.

Biden’s fourth nominee on Friday was Bernadette Meehan, the executive vice president of global programs for the Obama Foundation. Meehan, who’s Biden’s pick for ambassador to Chile, was a career foreign service officer for over a decade, serving in multiple positions at the National Security Council. At one point, Meehan was special assistant to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She speaks Spanish and Arabic.

The Biden administration has said it plans to keep the ratio of career appointees to political appointees closer to the traditional 70 to 30 percent. Former President Donald Trump’s political appointees surpassed that traditional marker at roughly 45 percent of the total, leaving Biden with an unusual number of vacancies to fill.

All of the president’s nominees must be confirmed by the Senate.

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